I found most of these recipes on two of my favorite food blogs, Smitten Kitchen and Serious Eats. If you're ever feeling bored with menu planning, I challenge you to spend 15 minutes on either one of these blogs and not be drooling with anticipation, inspiration, and a shopping list in hand.
Jasmine basmati rice (you can buy this at Martin's grocery store, or any grocery store with a good selection)
Store-bought naan bread (even our poor old Food Lion usually carries this)
Herbed green beans (really, just steamed green beans with some garlic- and rosemary infused olive oil dressing)
Pasta with garlic and broccoli
This is easy:
- Start your pasta water boiling; steam 1 large clump of broccoli per person until bright green but not limp
- In a large saute pan, saute about 3-4 cloves (or more if you like) of very very thinly sliced FRESH garlic -- not that junk in a jar -- in about 4 tablespoons of good olive oil. Shake in a little dried chili pepper
- Cook the pasta
- Toss the cooked broccoli with the sauteed garlic until coated. Add more olive oil if desired, and salt and pepper to taste. If you like parmesan cheese, sprinkle on some freshly grated cheese. Serve with some good French or Italian bread.
Asparagus sautéed in (purchased) black bean sauce
Either rice or udon noodles
You'll notice that none of these recipes are American. Sadly, there is not a lot of traditional American food that's vegetarian. In Asian countries, meat is often more of a condiment. In India, beef is forbidden to the Hindus, and other meat can be scarce. Anyway, it's fun to cook with different ingredients, and combine old ones in interesting new ways. If you're stuck in a food rut, try some of these!